Water is essential to human health

INLAND EMPIRE – Many adults have had the virtues of drinking enough water extolled on them since childhood. Though recommendations as to how much water a person should drink each day have fluctuated over the years, it’s still safe to say that drinking a significant amount of water every day is essential for your health.

Water keeps the body healthy in a number of ways. But the body loses water in a number of ways as well, each of which is part of normal human function. For instance, a body loses water when a person breathes, sweats, urinates or has a bowel movement. The body must replace this lost fluid in order to stay healthy and avoid

dehydration.

In addition to fending off dehydration, water helps the body flush out wastes and maintain a healthy body temperature while reducing the risk of developing kidney stones or becoming constipated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, water also helps lubricate and cushion joints and protects the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues.

The body needs water every day, but there are certain instances when the body will likely need more water than usual. If you spend ample time in especially hot climates, your body will need more water, just as it might during periods of physical activity. In addition, your body will need more water when suffering from certain ailments or conditions, including fever, diarrhea or vomiting.

It’s best to consult a physician if you suspect you aren’t getting enough fluids, but there are also some indicators men and women can notice on their own. One such indicator is the color of your urine, which will be clear or pale yellow if your body is getting enough fluids. Urine that is dark yellow indicates the body needs more water. Constipation or hard bowel movements may also be the result of a body that isn’t getting enough fluids.

While it’s true there is such a thing as too much water, it is rare that a person drinks too much water. Endurance athletes are most susceptible if they only drink water during competitions. That’s because consuming too much water will dilute the amount of sodium in the body, creating an imbalance that can cause confusion, seizures and possibly even coma. That’s why many endurance athletes drink a sports drink that contains sodium, sugar and electrolytes during competitions. But even athletes who will be competing or exercising for more than an hour might want to choose a sports drink instead of just water to protect themselves and avoid an imbalance.

Many people find they don’t drink enough water by accident. One way to combat that is to bring a bottle of water with you wherever you go. Another way is to drink water throughout the day at your office, which also gives you an opportunity to get up and stretch your legs over the course of the day. If you find water especially bland, add a slice of lemon or lime to give it more flavor.

Drinking a sufficient amount of water each day helps the body function properly and fight off a host of ailments.

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